The Prophet Thomas, Part 2

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The Prophet Thomas, Part 2

by baldilocks

As I said in Part One, Thomas Sow­ell out­lined the two visions of human nature: con­strained and unconstrained.

Peo­ple with the con­strained vision of human nature believe that this nature is fixed, flawed and that all humans act with self-​interest in mind. And because of innate self-​interest, we should be free to pur­sue it, but con­versely, because of innate fal­li­bil­ity, there should be some con­straints on human behav­ior which keep us from encroach­ing on the self-​interest of others.

Exam­ple: those of us who sub­scribe to God’s newslet­ter acknowl­edge that, since the Fall in the Gar­den of Eden — man in nat­u­rally sin­ful (flawed) — and, fol­low­ing from there, it is the ulti­mate in self-​interest to accept Jesus the Christ as one’s Lord and Sav­ior. We are inter­ested in not going to Hell for our sins and, there­fore, we try to do what God wants us to do and one of those is to love one’s neigh­bor as self: a con­straint on human behav­ior which keep us from encroach­ing on the self-​interest of others.

It isn’t sur­pris­ing, there­fore, that peo­ple who hold the uncon­strained vision of human nature are often athe­ists — though, allow­ing for incom­plete think­ing on per­sonal prin­ci­ples, not always. (Belief in a Higher Power than human­ity is, by nature, a con­strained vision of human nature.) Under this phi­los­o­phy man is his own agent and pos­sesses all of the tools to become per­fect and to per­fect his species.

And the key fea­ture to this vision is that as long at the goal is deemed vir­tu­ous, there is no moral con­straint – or any other kind – on the means of attain­ing a par­tic­u­lar goal. Does the phrase by any means nec­es­sary ring a bell?

Exam­ple: the notion that “all men are cre­ated equal” often falls by the way­side for those with this view. To them, there are some set of human beings which are inher­ently bet­ter than oth­ers — phys­i­cally, men­tally, emo­tion­ally, morally and spir­i­tu­ally – and those “oth­ers” are a drain on those who are “bet­ter.” This is the part of humankind which requires perfecting.

Obvi­ously, racial suprema­cist ide­ol­ogy falls in this cat­e­gory and nearly every sys­tem­atic mass killing con­ducted by a gov­ern­men­tal entity ever recorded has been pre­sented as an attempt to improve upon the peo­pling of a given soci­ety — espe­cially those which have occurred in the last cen­tury or so.

Let’s go with abor­tion. Some of the most head-​turning jus­ti­fi­ca­tions for abor­tion which I’ve heard are in regard to the dis­pro­por­tion­ately high rate of abor­tion among black women. Many pro-​choice/​pro-​abortion advo­cate even acknowl­edge that abor­tion is the killing of human beings, but will say “it’s bet­ter than being born poor” or “it’s bet­ter than being born in a racist, sex­ist soci­ety,” or some­thing similar.

The foun­da­tion of that think­ing is that blacks are (allegedly) unable to escape penury because of our genetic make-​up and, there­fore, we will always be dis­crim­i­nated against because of our race and/​or sex. We are infe­rior — implies the per­son with the uncon­strained vision — so it’s bet­ter to cull suc­ceed­ing gen­er­a­tions and to do it as often as pos­si­ble. It’s all for the improve­ment of humankind.

More in Tuesday’s post.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2012. Her sec­ond novel, ten­ta­tively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2016. Fol­low her on Twit­ter.baldilocks

Please con­tribute to Juliette’s Projects JOB: HER TRIP TO KENYA! Her new novel, her blog, her Inter­net to keep the lat­ter going and COF­FEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Inde­pen­dent Journalism — -»»

by baldilocks

As I said in Part One, Thomas Sowell outlined the two visions of human nature: constrained and unconstrained.

People with the constrained vision of human nature believe that this nature is fixed, flawed and that all humans act with self-interest in mind. And because of innate self-interest, we should be free to pursue it, but conversely, because of innate fallibility, there should be some constraints on human behavior which keep us from encroaching on the self-interest of others.

Example: those of us who subscribe to God’s newsletter acknowledge that, since the Fall in the Garden of Eden—man in naturally sinful (flawed)—and, following from there, it is the ultimate in self-interest to accept Jesus the Christ as one’s Lord and Savior. We are interested in not going to Hell for our sins and, therefore, we try to do what God wants us to do and one of those is to love one’s neighbor as self: a constraint on human behavior which keep us from encroaching on the self-interest of others.

It isn’t surprising, therefore, that people who hold the unconstrained vision of human nature are often atheists—though, allowing for incomplete thinking on personal principles, not always. (Belief in a Higher Power than humanity is, by nature, a constrained vision of human nature.) Under this philosophy man is his own agent and possesses all of the tools to become perfect and to perfect his species.

And the key feature to this vision is that as long at the goal is deemed virtuous, there is no moral constraint–or any other kind–on the means of attaining a particular goal. Does the phrase by any means necessary ring a bell?

Example: the notion that “all men are created equal” often falls by the wayside for those with this view. To them, there are some set of human beings which are inherently better than others—physically, mentally, emotionally, morally and spiritually–and those “others” are a drain on those who are “better.” This is the part of humankind which requires perfecting.

Obviously, racial supremacist ideology falls in this category and nearly every systematic mass killing conducted by a governmental entity ever recorded has been presented as an attempt to improve upon the peopling of a given society—especially those which have occurred in the last century or so.

Let’s go with abortion. Some of the most head-turning justifications for abortion which I’ve heard are in regard to the disproportionately high rate of abortion among black women. Many pro-choice/pro-abortion advocate even acknowledge that abortion is the killing of human beings, but will say “it’s better than being born poor” or “it’s better than being born in a racist, sexist society,” or something similar.

The foundation of that thinking is that blacks are (allegedly) unable to escape penury because of our genetic make-up and, therefore, we will always be discriminated against because of our race and/or sex. We are inferior—implies the person with the unconstrained vision—so it’s better to cull succeeding generations and to do it as often as possible. It’s all for the improvement of humankind.

More in Tuesday’s post.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.baldilocks

Please contribute to Juliette’s Projects JOB: HER TRIP TO KENYA! Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>